On 7 May 2009, the Financial Services Global Competitiveness Group (FSGCG), which is co-chaired by the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, and former Citi Chairman, Sir Win Bischoff, produced a report on the future of the UK's financial services sector. As the FSGCG consists of a number of members representing key stakeholders in the sector, this report reflects the view of the UK's financial services leaders.

The report states that, whilst reform is needed, the financial services sector has a crucial role to play in Britain's economic recovery. It sets out policy guidance as to how the UK's financial services sector can emerge from the current economic downturn and remain a global force in the long-term.

The FSGCG was asked in June 2008 to examine the challenges facing the UK financial services sector and to advise the sector on how it can best succeed in the face of such challenges. The report has responded by setting out a ten to fifteen year framework for strengthening the UK's place in the rapidly changing global financial services industry.

The FSGCG acknowledges the huge fiscal costs of the banking crisis to the global economy, taxpayers and public finances. It strongly argues that effective regulation will be the most important determinant of the sector’s future success. The report also recognises the importance of maintaining effective long-term performance in areas such as the UK’s skills base, tax environment, innovation and promotional efforts.

The report summarises its guidance into three elements. It says the UK Government and the financial services sector should work together to:

  1. establish a clear direction for the UK international financial services industry with the wider economy and overseas markets
  2. reaffirm the UK's reputation for competence, responsibility and trustworthiness
  3. ensure effective delivery of the recommendations.

A copy of the report can be found here.